In one review of thirty studies on happiness and longevity, for example, Dutch sociologist Ruut Veenhoven found that happiness appears to protect against illness. (See Journal of Happiness Studies September 2008, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 449-469) Veenoven summarized his findings as follows “[H]appiness does not cure illness but it does protect against becoming ill. The effect of happiness on longevity in healthy populations is remarkably strong. The size of the effect is comparable to that of smoking or not.” (Id., page 449.)
Additionally, numerous other scientific studies have shown remarkable correlations between improved levels of athletic performance and prior visualization of the performance by the athlete prior to the commencement of the athletic performance.
While I have long believed that there is indeed a causative connection between positive visualizations and beliefs and positive outcomes and, correspondingly, between negative visualization and beliefs and negative outcomes, as an attorney and scientist, I have also wanted to know why and how such a connection, if its real, exists and functions. If the phenomenon is indeed real, I wanted to know just how, mechanistically, positive thinking could possibly affect extrinsic outcomes. My interest in the subject also led me to the thought that if there really are extrinsic effects of visualization, then understanding how the process is effectuated could provide clues as to how to make it work better.